WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS...
Good Organic Gardening|September - October 2021
... AND IT’S NOT JUST LEMONADE. HERE ARE 11 TASTY IDEAS FOR ALL CLIMATES AND SEASONS TO BREW, BLEND OR FIZZ UP A NICE DROP FROM THAT EXCESS CROP
Linda Moon
Making your own drinks from organic ingredients picked fresh from the garden has multiple benefits. Along with the joy of self-sufficiency and saving money, you know exactly what’s in your glass. There’s less storage and zero food miles from harvest to sip. It’s also another means of experimenting with flavors, obtaining nutrients and staying hydrated. Best of all, you don’t need a huge garden.

HOT AND COLD TEAS

One of civilisation’s oldest and easiest beverages, teas are infusions of plant ingredients created by steeping leaves, flowers, fruit, seeds or roots in water.

Mint is one of humanity’s favourite flavours. Along with its cooling, menthol flavor, peppermint is a traditional treatment for indigestion and colic (it relaxes the digestive tract), fevers and colds.

There are, however, many edibles suitable for teas including chamomile, honeysuckle, elder and lavender flowers, fennel, wild strawberries, licorice root, spearmint, mulberry, rosehip, rosemary, raspberry, sage, thyme and red clover.

Sweeten with your own stevia leaves and experiment with blends. Use approximately one teaspoon of dried or fresh plant ingredient to a cup of near-boiling water. Steep about 10 minutes in a lidded teapot; longer for a stronger brew.

Depending on the plant, herbal teas have varying therapeutic values. Many are great for clearing sinuses and they can also be enjoyed cold.

For a summery anti-inflammatory thirst-quencher, infuse some ginger, lemongrass, lemon balm or lemon verbena. Cool, strain, add ice cubes, mint sprigs and fresh lemon or lime slices.

JUICES AND SMOOTHIES

Use a juicer, cold press or blender to whip up your own juices and smoothies from backyard fruit and veg. This is a great use for any excess you may be lucky enough to have or for fruit and veg not quite up to par for the plate.

Juices provide a boost of vitamins, antioxidants, minerals and live enzymes.

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